Adobe Releases Report on The New Creatives

TheNewCreativesLogo-pixAdobe’s report on “The New Creatives” is filled with interesting statistics about how creative professionals view their work and their future. Unveiled at the Cannes Lions festival for creative communications professionals, the report is based on a U.S. survey of more than 1,000 creative professionals and 500 students in creative disciplines. The survey included insights into the attitudes and beliefs of graphic designers, web designers, photographers, illustrators, videographers and other creatives who are employed full-time, self-employed.

First, let’s look at the key findings that Adobe highlighted in their press release. Then, let’s call attention to some other noteworthy stats in the full Slideshare presentation below.

From the press release 

Seventy-four percent of creative professionals view mobile technology as transforming the face of creativity and design, with seven in 10 reporting they create specifically for mobile devices,

An overwhelming majority (77%) of creatives believe change within the industry is happening rapidly, with two-thirds expecting their role will be significantly different within three years.

New technologies such as mobile are driving this change: A strong majority (87%) of those who create mobile content believe doing so has had a positive impact on their work.

While creatives still rely on pen and paper for ideation (28%) and brainstorming (36%), nearly half use their mobile devices to capture inspiration on- the-go and 42 percent say they use mobile to create content anywhere. Thirty percent of creatives also expressed a desire to create more on tablets, surpassing desktop computers.

Creatives identified app development and 3D modeling as the skills that will be most in-demand over the next 12 months.

“Creatives are going mobile, and this means a sea change for the creative process,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Media, Adobe. “The study shows that creatives are very interested in using mobile for idea generation and suggests we will see mobile use in the creation process significantly increase in the years ahead. This underscores that mobile devices can be an important part of the creative process when integrated with existing desktop workflows.”

Creatives are feeling optimistic and highly valued. Ninety-six percent of creative professionals are happy in their careers and 88 percent believe their best days are ahead of them. Eighty-eight percent believe they have a strong influence on their organizations and clients, and 46 percent say they have significantly more impact than they did two years ago. A striking 93 percent believe the value of their contributions is recognized by their companies or clients.

Despite their optimism, creatives have worries, pointing to the need to “create more, at a faster speed than ever” as their top concern.

Creatives also recognize the need to diversify their skills. Eighty percent of respondents believe they must learn new tools and techniques and three quarters say that creatives are increasingly working across multiple mediums and disciplines.

When asked what motivates them most, creatives ranked doing great work (54%) and learning new things (52%) higher than financial rewards (37%).

The survey also exposed new insight into where creatives get their sparks of inspiration. Twice as many view digital sources such as social media (36%) as well as websites and online advertising (33%) as the most influential sources of inspiration over more traditional influences such as fashion and architecture. Creatives are also turning to professional online communities, noting inspiration and collaboration and sharing as the top reasons for participating.

While still mostly trusting their gut (79%) to make decisions, creatives view the impact of technology and digital analytics positively: 75 percent note that technology gives them more control over their professional destiny, and 70 percent feel empowered by analytics.

Creative students share similar views to pros. Students majoring in creative disciplines echoed many of the same trends as professional creatives. Ninety-six percent of students have a positive outlook on their choice of a future creative career, and they recognize that new technologies (31%) and the impact of social media (23%) are some of the driving forces changing the industry. They have also embraced mobile: 79 percent of students have created mobile content. Students’ top interests in online creative communities are job prospecting (30%) and learning new skills (21%).

Other Statistics Worth Noting
Here are a few of the statistics that caught my eye as I read through the report:

  • 70% of creatives believe they need to become skilled in more than discipline.
  • 84% said being passionate about their work mattered. 53% said it was extremely important; 31% said it was very important.

More than 70% of respondents also said it was important to

  • have complete creative freedom
  • stay true to my creative vision despite pressures
  • be proficient in multiple disciplines
  • be able to create from anywhere
  • collaborate effectively with others

About The New Creatives Report

The data points referenced above come from a study commissioned by Adobe, produced by research firm Edelman Berland and conducted as an online survey among a total of 1,048 US creative professionals and 535 students of creative disciplines. Data was collected May 12-21, 2014 by Edelman Berland. The margin of error at the 95% confidence level for the Pro sample is +/- 3.1% and +/- 4.2% for the student sample.


Adobe: The New Creatives Report

Adobe: The New Creatives Report-Student Findings


Publication Shows Why Innovative Use of Print Media Can Help Brand Marketers Succeed

SappiPRINT&DESIGNERS. At the PRINT 13 conference in September, the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) presented its 2013 “Positively Print” award to Sappi Fine Paper North America, a leading producer of coated papers used in magazines, catalogs, books, and high-end print advertising. Sappi was honored for producing “Print &,” a gorgeously designed publication that explains and illustrates the changing role of printed publications in integrated marketing campaigns.

“For the past decade, the increase in digital advertising spend has led to assumptions that print would soon reach its demise,” says Patti Groh, marketing director, Sappi Fine Paper North America. “Industry studies show that the opposite is true. The fact of the matter is that while this industry is constantly evolving, print and digital are proving to be mutually supportive, and brand marketers are learning to play to the strengths of each.”

The publication points out that “Brand marketers will adopt whatever tools produce the most effective results. Today, that means a combination of approaches, strategically planned to get the greatest impact for the dollars spent.” While online media is immediate and accessible, print is more permanent and elegant.

Before the digital revolution, marketing-communications managers, ad planners, and publishers had only eight media channels from which to choose. Today there are well over 100: “With a plethora of new platforms being declared the ‘next big thing,’ assessing which will survive, who it will appeal to, and how best to spend precious dollars to the wall is like pinning Jell-O to the wall.”

“Print &” also cites a neuroscience study commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau that discovered that paper-based marketing (direct mail) leaves a “deeper footprint” in the brain. Because the physical act of handling tangible material feels more “real” to the brain than digital, it triggers emotional reactions that get internalized into the viewer’s memory. As “Print &” points out, “The brain associates the tactile quality of the piece with its perception of the brand.” Perhaps this explains why print continues to be popular medium for marketing high-value good and services.

“Print &” also reports on studies that show the Millennial generation may be more receptive to print than some might expect. In a Two Sides study published in 2012, 69 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds said they prefer print and paper communications to reading off a screen.

Case studies and other examples featured in “Print &” confirm that when print and other media are strategically combined in marketing campaigns, the combination can produce the greatest return of marketing impact on dollars spent.

Through the use of QR codes and augmented reality, print and new media merge into one, generating endless possibilities for the future of print and consumer interaction. Sappi demonstrated this interplay in “Print &” by developing 10 unique print/digital experiences – ranging from a game of pool to a trip on historic Route 66. To access the augmented-reality (AR) content that has been laid over the printed content in “Print &,” you must download the free Junaio AR browser application.


“The design industry has reached a turning point, and we are no longer constrained to only one platform versus the other,” said Kit Hinrichs, principal and creative director, Studio Hinrichs. “With innovations in printing and developments in new technology, we are now able to transcend the traditional method of thought and can truly start projects thinking in terms of the possibilities, not the limitations.” Studio Hinrichs and writer Delphine Hirasuna, editor of @Issue Journal, collaborated with Sappi to produce “Print &.”

“Print &” was printed on Sappi’s McCoy, a premium coated sheet known for its whiteness and unsurpassed printability. In addition to illustrating how print could be integrated with augmented reality technologies, the publication demonstrates some creative ways to make four-color offset-printed pieces more tactile, dimensional, and engaging.

As you flip through the pages, you will see creative uses of new printing and finishing techniques such as flocking, soft-touch coating, reticulated varnish, photochromic ink, raised UV coating, engraving, liquid foil, thermography, embossing, metallic inks, and unusual folds.

For example, on images of two gloved hands you can see (and feel) that it’s possible to add a rubbery texture to a printed picture of a surgeon’s glove, a leather-like feel to a printed photo of a driving glove, or a woolly texture to a photograph of a winter glove.

“Print &” was first distributed to graphic designers who attended the 2013 HOW Design Live Conference in San Francisco in June. Designers can request a copy of “Print &” from their local Sappi Fine Paper rep. To find a sales rep in your area, visit the “Print &” page on the Sappi Fine Paper North America website:

GASC’s Positively Print Award

After you read through “Print &,” it will be clear why GASC chose Sappi for this year’s “Positively Print” award.

“The purpose of the Positively Print program is to share examples of creative and effective print advocacy campaigns with the entire graphic-communications industry,” explains GASC President Ralph Nappi, “We want to demonstrate to companies involved in print that advocating for print can be done and that it helps to carry a powerful message that will benefit the entire industry.”

Positively Print entries can be produced in any media, as long as the entry targets print buyers, print influencers, and the broader community. Nominees are evaluated on their originality and how effectively they deliver the message that printed communications are an integral component of modern marketing campaigns.

The Positively Print program was created and is administered as an extension of the Executive Outlook Conference by GASC co-owners, the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies, and the Printing Industries for America.


Print & by Sappi Fine Paper North America

Sappi Fine Paper North America

Positively Print Award



Custom Wallpaper Opens New Avenues for Graphic Designers

Guest Post by Chris Garrett

Most people don’t get excited when they hear about wallpaper, and for good reason. For decades wallpaper has been associated with drab rooms, awful color, peeling walls, and designs that cause retina bleeding. However, the awful wallpapers of yesteryear don’t need to be featured in modern homes, businesses, or studios anymore. Digitally printed custom wallpaper can feature any design, photo, or theme that you’d like to see featured on a wall or other surface.

A Dynamic Change in the Home

While solid colors or repeating designs are still the norm when it comes to interior walls in the home, seeing murals or unique designs are becoming more common. I remember a middle-school friend  who was a huge Washington State fan. His parents paid a painter to come in and paint a beautiful mural of a cougar on the wall above his bed. While this was a jealously-inducing addition to his 13 year old friends, there were limitations to the paint.

Time and Resources: Even just painting a room a solid color is a chore and a half. You have to tape, put plastic down, edge corners, strain to reach the high places, and dedicate a solid chunk of time to painting even the smallest room in the house. For a custom design or mural, you have to hire an artist who also has to do the above-mentioned tasks. Custom wallpaper can be applied much faster than a painted mural and fewer items are needed to install it.

Things Change: My friend has since moved out and his room is now holds barely used exercise equipment. Painting over the mural is easier said than done because you have to match the wall color which has since faded – so now the entire room or wall has to be painted.  Repositionable wallpaper (remember the Fathead commercials?) is an easy solution to this. Simply peel off the design and move it somewhere else, store it, or replace it.

Artistic Limitations: Having a one-of-a-kind mural is cool, but it can be difficult to find someone who has the required skill and is willing to do the job within your budget. Printers don’t care how detailed or elaborate the piece is; the print quality will be top-notch. Homeowners can hire a graphic designer to create unique visuals for their walls, or submit photographs or artwork to the printing company, Most printing firms offer a choice of wallcovering materials for printing your design.

Custom Wallpaper in Businesses

It’s become much more common to see custom wallpaper in commercial establishments where businesses can use the custom printing to highlight products, services, or brand identity. Some of the most common establishments are restaurants, colleges, sports venues, and offices.

This is where a graphic designer can really get involved. As businesses look to brand themselves, or look to incorporate their brand into their wallpaper, top-notch graphic artists can step up and produce eye popping work. Check out these examples.

Rangers Lobby: The Texas Rangers wanted their lobby to capture the feeling and excitement of opening day so they made it appear like the back wall was a view from a stadium entrance. Notice how even the elevator doors have printing on them to keep the picture largely uninterrupted.

Photo courtesy of MegaPrint

Eye-Catching Branding: Forever Yogurt kept their hot pink theme going without being overpowering along their back wall. They also proudly display their logo and company name which is artistically highlighted by the doodle like cityscape, which is a nice transition from the corrugated metal below. This is a great example of bold graphic design being used in tandem with custom wallpaper.

Photo courtesy of Megaprint
Photo courtesy of Megaprint

If You Want More…

I realize for the detail oriented I may have raised more questions than I’ve answered. You can find more information about the nitty-gritty details such as paper stock, photo resolution, and materials from this custom wallpaper FAQs page. Custom wallpaper can be applied to a host of different areas, not just walls, and you can get creative with its application and design more so than paint or stock wall paper.

Chris Garrett is a freelance writer for the large format printing and custom wallpaper expert, and blogs on the topics of design and printing.


MegaPrint Custom Wallpaper

FAQs about Custom Wallpaper

What Do You Think About Crowdsourced Design?

The new website is using provocative topics and poll questions to attract and engage readers. For example, recently asked readers to weigh on the controversial topic of crowdsourced design.

Crowdsourcing is defined as “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.”

Slightly more than half (56%) of the respondents said “No” they didn’t think crowdsourcing was hurting the graphic design business. The other 44% said “Yes” it was.

Of the 122 people who answered the poll question if they had ever participated in crowdsourced or spec work, 35% selected the response:  “A few times and I would do it again.” Another 27% said they had never done so, while 24% took part in crowdsourcing “all the time.” The remaining 14% of respondents chose the answer: “A few times, but I would not do it again.”

Nearly 70% of respondents agreed that crowdsourcing was “a good way to build my book,” with only 35% dubbing the practice “bad for our industry.” In another question, 80% of respondents said “Yes” to the query: “Do you feel that crowdsourcing helps a student or someone starting out in graphic design?”

The poll questions tied in with an article entitled “Crowdsourced Design: Commoditization or Democratization?” in which NSG Design owner Nicole Spiegel-Gotsch talked with the CEO of the crowdsourcing design firm 99designs Patrick Llewellyn and the President of Sterling Brands Design Division Debbie Millman.

Llewellyn defended crowdsourcing, noting that it encourages community participation, affords informal design feedback, and even allows entrants to win prizes. Even though 99designs has designers on staff, the firm went to the masses for the massive redesign of the front page of their website.

Llewellyn says crowdsourcing can have a life-changing impact for some designers: “99designs has paid out almost $1.5 million a month to winning designers… Some have built such a large following that they no longer have time for contests.”

The home page redesign contest has received over 400 entries to date from over 120 designers.  Moreover, 99designs currently has over 1,500 open contests.

Debbie Millman painted a less-than-rosy picture of crowdsourcing, asserting, “At the end of the day, [crowdsource businesses] get paid and clients get a plethora of design options for free. How is that fair?” Millman believes portfolios and proposals are a better way for would-be designers to share their work.

“When people are willing to do work for free, it becomes very demoralizing,” said Millman. “How many millions of dollars in free work is being given away?”

The article attracted more than 45 comments from readers. Neil Tortorella suggested that that 99designs could try crowdsourcing their management decisions. “If they believe crowdsourcing is the fun community answer, what the heck? How hard can it be?”

Another reader wondered if graphic design is the only field in which companies are taking advantage of creative professionals who are so passionate about “breaking in” that they will work for free. (The short answer to that question of course is “no.” Photographers, writers, and artists have all been asked to do work for free, simply to get the “exposure.”)

Some commenters compared the quality of crowdsourced to commissioned work. One reader wrote: “I can hire 10 designers and have them each spend three hours on a design, and I will end up with 10 mediocre designs. Or, I can hire one designer to work back and forth and spend 30 hours on a few concepts that are truly brainstormed, unique and carefully planned out.”

Spiegel-Gotsch suggested a hybrid between free crowdsourcing and paid work. In essence, the designers whose work was not chosen through crowdsourcing could still receive some sort of “kill fee.”  As Spiegel-Gotsch noted, “What could be so bad about having both the competitive aspect and getting paid for your work?”


Crowdsourced Design: Democratization or Commoditization?

Press Release: Impact of Crowdsourcing Graphic Design Appears Mixed

Use Interactive iPad Book to Study History of Graphic Design

Cover of Megg's History of Graphic Design BookDESIGNERS. John Wiley & Sons has introduced the Fifth Edition of the best-selling textbook “Meggs’ History of Graphic Design” by Philip S. Meggs and Alston Purvis. The Fifth Edition not only contains new information on multimedia, interactive design, and private presses, but the book itself will be available in e-book formats for the Kindle, the Nook, and the iPad.

The interactive iPad edition from Inkling will bring the history of graphic design to life, with embedded video and audio and “guided tours” that let you learn the story behind each image. To tour an image, simply tap through sequential pop-tips to learn the details and info that make each image important. Interactive timelines include pop-tips with image samples. Other features will include slideshows of multiple images, flashcards, and quizzes that let you test your knowledge of the title of the work, the designer, and year of creation.

As with other e-books, you will be able to search the contents, highlight with ease, and save and share notes through social learning networks.

The first edition of “A History of Graphic Design” was published in 1983. It was heralded for it balanced insights and the thoroughness of its content. The book shows how graphic design has been a vital component of each culture and period in human history, with sections on topics such as the invention of writing and alphabets, the origins of printing and typography, and postmodern design.

The 624-page hardcover version lists for $85.00. The iPad version is expected to be released in January will sell for about 40% less.

Inkling is a San Francisco-based company that is seeking to redefine the textbook and the way people learn. The engineers and designers at Inkling work closely with content and education experts to take advantage of the fact that multi-touch devices such as the iPad allow publishers to move beyond the constraints of the printed book.


About Inkling

About Inkling’s iPad version of Meggs’ History of Graphic Design

Meggs’ History of Graphic Design, Fifth Edition



Opportunities and Challenges for Graphic Designers

When desktop publishing, Photoshop, and other imaging technologies first hit the scene, graphic designers were among the first to recognize that mastering new technologies would sooon become an integral part of their jobs. Still, few people really envisioned how rapidly and radically advances in digital imaging, digital printing, communications, and the Internet would transform the world of business and commerce. The “rules” are marketing and publishing are being rewritten every day.  Here’s a quick rundown of major challenges and opportunities for graphic designers.


Global competition. Easy access to global online providers of low-cost or do-it-yourself template-driven design services has eroded the prices for common types of graphic-design services.

Constant training and equipment updating. The shift away from print advertising and print publications to new forms of Internet advertising and interactive media requires designers to continually update their skills  and computer hardware and software. Designers are typically on the leading edge of figuring out how to make new forms of communications click with users.

Multi-channel marketing demands speed and flexibility. High volumes of graphics often must be produced under tight deadlines. In addition to producing graphics for multiple forms of media, the messaging often must be customized and directed to narrower audiences. Production speed and efficiency are essential.

Keeping up with changes in consumer preferences. Graphic designers must stay attuned to the fast-changing trends and preferences within audiences of different generations, cultural backgrounds, and tech-savvy.


Expanded roles and changing expectations. Companies expect designers to add value by differentiating their brands, products, or customer experience.  Designers can expand their roles by helping organizations prepare for the next wave of changes in technology, communications, and society.

Mass customization and personalization. The incredible versatility of large-format, on-demand, and 3D printing has opened new opportunities for all types of products, books, and décor to be custom designed. Designers can work with a broader range of clients and come up with new ideas for vehicle wraps, wallcoverings, environmental graphics, fabrics, clothing, jewelry, and home furnishings.

New business models for design firms. Entrepreneurial designers can use the Internet to sell a wide range of their own custom-designed products and services.

Integrated, cross-media marketing. Designers will play a key role in implementing integrated marketing campaigns that will influence consumers at a variety of touchpoints including social networks, websites, blogs, e-mail, smartphones, printed materials, trade-show graphics, and point-of-purchase. Many corporations are developing sophisticated content-publishing operations that will rival traditional editorial publishing operations.